May 22, 2016

CurlyNikki in Cuba

Hola Chicas,

Story time--

So back in November, after driving down Embassy Row on our way to our favorite restaurant, Dr. Daddy noticed what he thought was the Cuban Flag. He said it looked like the Puerto Rican flag, but that he was pretty sure it wasn’t. It turned out that it was the newly opened Cuban Embassy and in that moment we decided Cuba would be our December 2015 destination. About a week later I found myself standing outside the imposing gates with nothing but our 3 passports in hand, hoping to be let in. I had called for about a week with no response, so finally, on a whim, while Gia was at school and Dr. Daddy was in class, I Uber'ed over to the Embassy to knock on the door. When I told the driver where we were headed he was like, ‘that’s interesting. Do you have an appointment?’ I was like, ‘nope, couldn’t get through’. He was hella skeptical so while it seemed as if he was being nice waiting for me (it was raining) in case I didn’t get in, I think in fact he was curious if I’d be successful. So I jumped out of the black Suburban, dressed in all black everything, full of hope.. I walked up to the imposing gates (which are a good distance from the front door) and rang the buzzer. Nothing. For like 5 minutes. I couldn’t see any movement, no sign of life at all, but uh, my brain doesn't compute the word ‘no’, so there I stood.  A couple of guys across the street looked on. 5 more minutes go by and I see the other gate open, the one for the garage, a car pulls out. I flag it down but they wave me off and said, 'ring the bell again'. 10 more minutes go by.  Losing hope, I hop back in the Suburban and just before we pull off, the driver says, ‘I think I saw someone look out the door’. So I jumped back out. Rang the bell again. Nothing. Just then, a UPS truck pulls up, she jumps out and since she has natural hair, we're instantly homies. We chat for a bit. 2 minutes later a woman appears at the front door, walks down to the gate, greets the natural haired UPS lady and lets her in. Not me tho, she looked at me and said, 'just a moment'. I yell behind her, ‘I’d like to speak to someone in the press departme---!’ Door slams. 5 more minutes and a smiling woman appears and opens the gates for me! I walked in and said 'hi...I'm Nikki.'

Next I can only assume she started what must have been a lengthy investigation into me, my intentions (curly cultural missions!), my husband and ‘cause every few days, I'd get a barrage of questions and requests for documents and such. For some reason I assumed that this wouldn't be that big a deal. Well, I was wrong. But I stayed messaging her too, checking up on the status of our situation.  That's one reason I'm successful at this life thing-- persistence and consistency.  Her response, every single time was basically, ‘be patient, I got this. But be patient, tho.’

In the mean time, Gma got her wings, so we shelved our annual international New Year's trip. Brazil happened in March (‘cause we sheleved our annual international New Year's trip). Then the Obamas slid on down to Havana. I was like, 'cool'. Then Kanye Kardashian went and I was like ‘hold the hell up’! But that same week, Havana approved our visas!!!!!! Which was awesome, but they were also like 'you've got to go now, like, RIGHT NOW'.  So here we are, chartering a flight out of Miami.

So there you have it folks, next time you want in to a closed society...just knock on the door.  #HardKnocks #ButSmileTho

If you have the time, stay tuned and I'll share more from our epic trip to Havana… whenever I can find a wifi connection.

Later Gators,

P.S. We figured now's as good a time as any for Boogie to go international, besides I’m still interviewing countries #incaseoftrump #incaseofclintontoo

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